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Tuesday 21.05.2019 | Name days: Ingmārs, Ernestīne, Akvelīna

KNAB checks Latvian Railways’ wall project – half a million spent but there is no wall

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau has commenced an investigation in relation to the protective wall project near Šķirotava railway station in Riga – Latvian Railway (LDz) has partially paid for the project, but the firm in charge of it has simply transferred the money to some company in Hong Kong.

Estonian Mother of the Year: «Children have to have boundaries»

On the Mother’s Day, the Estonian Women's Union have selected the Estonian Mother of the Year. The winner, Mare Tupits, shared her views on good parenthood.

Corruption watchdog goes after officials of Riga Tourism Development Bureau

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau has commenced a criminal process against Riga City Council’s foundation Riga Tourism Development Bureau’s officials for wasting budget funds, forging documents, using forged documents and fraud.

Week’s beginning in Latvia will be rainy

A wide rain zone will pass through Latvia’s western portion on Monday, 13 May. This means lasting rain is expected in Kurzeme and Zemgale. Rain clouds will form in the country’s eastern areas, resulting in short-term rain, and local thunderstorms, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Eurovision turns political in Israel amid boycott calls

As Israel is hosting the Eurovision song contest this week, activists have pointed to Israel’s occupation policies in Palestinian territories and calls for artists to boycott the event have been heard though not fulfilled.

SA: using foundations, Riga City Council wasted at least EUR 20 million

Over the course of three years, Riga municipality has wasted more than EUR 20 million of city residents’ money using foundations and associations, as concluded by State Audit.

Next Lithuanian President to be elected in run-off between Šimonytė and Nausėda

The Lithuanian presidential election has produced no clear winner. With ex-Finance Minister Ingrida Šimonytė and economist Gitanas Nausėda showing the best results, the two with face each other in a run-off later this month, while defeated Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has announced his resignation.

Latvijas Naftas Tranzīts suspects State Revenue Service of illegally leaking confidential information

Joint Stock Company Latvijas Naftas Tranzīts has suspicions that Latvia’s State Revenue Service has illegally leaked confidential information about LNT’s business transactions and an ongoing audit procedure.

Week in Lithuania: new government in the offing, drug smuggler freed, VAT remains unchanged

Last week, the opposition Conservatives considered three possible scenarios if the ruling Farmers and Greens Union fulfilled its promise to leave the government if two elections go bad on them; a Columbian drug smuggler suspected of having been unlawfully released from jail; new attempts to reduce VAT fail.

BNN summary of the week: LDz scandal; Lithuania prepares for elections; Lembergs’ forgetfulness

Last week’s biggest announcement in Latvia came from Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits, who said «Latvian Railways current management cannot be trusted». The company is suspected of corruption and internal scheming. Meanwhile, LDz could not fully explain during their press-conference why Linkaits’ claims are untrue and veered from the topic, thereby only increasing suspicions that the company board does fear being «disqualified».

Heads of Latvian Railways focus on restrooms instead of corruption claims

No real explanation about why Latvian Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits’ accusations towards Latvian Railways (LDz) are wrong was never provided by LDz board chairman Edvīna Bērziņš during a press-conference on Friday, 10 May. Those present did learn, however, how much money LDz has invested in restrooms of railway stations.

Photos of the week, 10.05.19

BNN offers you to take a look at topical, interesting and simply beautiful pictures of this week.

Prime Minister: EU climate policy is an opportunity for Latvia

«Until now Latvia’s involvement in climate policy has been passive. We have to radically change our approach – from a country that unwillingly accepts decisions made by others we have to become a country that is one of the main decision-makers in the European Union,» said Latvia’s Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš during an informal meeting of the European Council in Romania dedicated to EU’s strategic goals for the next five years.

Lithuania selects next President as inequality, poverty top issues

Despite Lithuania’s long economic upswing, regional differences in wages and polarisation of population are key national problems before the Lithuanian presidential election due on Sunday, May 12.

Consumer prices in Latvia reached 3.4% in April

Compared to April 2018, the average level of consumer prices rose by 3.4 % in April 2019. Prices of goods had increased by 3.5 % and prices of services by 3.3 %.

Authorities end criminal process against businessmen Krūmiņš and Valters

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau has ended the criminal process on trade of influence against businessmen Jūlijs Krūmiņš, Haralds Balodis and ex-basketball player Valdis Valters.

KPV LV party’s «opposition» picks their own presidential candidate

A handful of members of KPV LV political party have decided to pick Didzis Šmits as their presidential candidate, as reported by Deputies do not hide the fact that with this step they wanted to engage in presidential elections.

U.S. considerably increases trade tariffs on Chinese goods

Escalating American trade dispute with China, Washington has on Friday considerably raised the customs tariffs on Chinese goods as the two trading partners are in talks on their future trade relationship.

After meeting with minister, Ventspils opposition decides to resume work in city council

After meeting with Latvia’s Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Pūce, opposition deputies of Ventspils City Council concluded that the minister is aware of and fully understands the situation in the city council. Because of that, members of the opposition have decided to once again start attending meetings of the city council, as confirmed by Ventspils City Council opposition deputy and European Parliament member candidate Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis.

Montenegro convicts Russian citizens, 12 others for attempted coup d’état

A court in Montenegro has punished 14 people, among them two opposition leaders and two Russian citizens, with prison terms for an attempt to bring down the government and take a pro-Moscow political force to power.

EU leaders agree on joint «10 commandments» on bloc's future

Heads of European Union member states have passed at a summit in Romania a declaration on the tasks the bloc has to «make our Union stronger and our future brighter» in the face of the elections of the European Parliament.

Latvian minister proposes small compulsory fee for health insurance system

Healthcare Minister Ilze Viņķele proposes implementing a small compulsory fee for residents who are not insured. This basically means adoption of a unified healthcare service basket in Latvia, the politician says.

Warm days to mix with cool days in Latvia in the near future

The end of the week in Latvia will be cloudy. Rain is expected mainly in the country’s eastern portion. Nevertheless, air temperature at night will not drop below +4° C and daytime air temperature will range between +17° C… +20° C, according to State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Tet and LMT merge topic outlined again as two companies hold talks

Merge talks have been held between telecommunication company Tet and mobile operator Latvijas mobilais telefons, as confirmed by Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits’ advisor for communication affairs Aļona Zandere.

PHOTO: cotton candy, flower sellers and Ušakovs – 9 May celebrations at Victory Park

Celebrations organized by association to commemorate the victims of WWII and the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany are traditionally held in Victory Park in Riga on 9 May. However, while some people celebrate the end of one of the most horrible wars in human history, others choose to focus on how this date was the beginning of a long occupation period for Latvia.